Everything We Know About Hidden Abilities in Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield Hidden Abilities

We were given an enormous treat earlier this morning thanks to an in-depth trailer shown off at the Pokemon World Championships regarding Pokemon Sword and Shield. We received plenty of new information about how battles are going to operate in the game. There's plenty of new, heavy competition to look forward to in the next generation of Pokemon. Some abilities are not going to be immediately apparent. A handful of Pokemon are going to have Hidden Abilities, that an opposing trainer may or may not know about during a fight. We're going to break down everything we know about these hidden abilities and detail how they change Pokemon moving forward.

How Hidden Abilities Work in Pokemon Sword and Shield

What Are They?

A hidden ability is a rare trait Pokemon are going to receive and use in combat. They're going to work similarly to the other abilities other Pokemon have, although they're going to be far more challenging to acquire. They were first introduced in Generation 5 and came from Pokemon captured in the Dream World. These Pokemon with the hidden ability were able to breed it down to other generations, allowing trainers to max the stats of their desired Pokemon and keep a rare, difficult-to-find ability.

Now, this is not going to work the same in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Pokemon with the Hidden Ability are not going to be able to breed it down to respective generations. When a Pokemon learns the hidden ability, that's it. There's no practical way to double-down on maximizing a particular Pokemon's stats, forcing trainers to think about their roster a bit more.

How They Function in Sword and Shield

With each new generation, trainers have to go about a new way to acquire Pokemon with hidden abilities. With Pokemon Sword and Shield, trainers need to participate in Max Raid battles. These battles are special events happening in the game that trainers are going to have to join in with additional party members. Because of how difficult these battles are going to become, multiple trainers need to fight the specific Pokemon as a team. When it's over, trainers have the opportunity to capture the featured creature and recruit them to their roster.

Does any of it sound familiar? It's a little bit of how the raids work in Pokemon Go.  Some wild features are coming to the Max Raid battles. Such as finding different Pokemon based on the weather, the time of day, and the Pokemon in question is going to be Dynamaxed for the entire battle. Given the difficulty and strength of a Dynamax Pokemon, it makes sense why four trainers need to team up to defeat it.

When trainers capture the Pokemon, they have a chance for the Pokemon to have a hidden ability. If it does, trainers have to optimize the use of that specific Pokemon, because unlike other games they cannot breed the hidden ability to maximize the stats of later generations. They have to use everything they receive on the first try.

Trainers who relied on hidden abilities on Pokemon are going to have a tough time dealing with a lot of the new features. However, it does mean trainers are not left to the mercy of random chance to acquire the best Pokemon with the best stats, based on breeding.

Pokemon Sword and Shield releases on Nov. 15 for the Nintendo Switch. Make sure to check out the entire trailer from the Pokemon World Championships that showed up earlier this morning.

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